In the Heart of a New Downtown

Today, Dominion Square is surrounded by skyscrapers. It’s worth casting a look back at what was one of the most prestigious public squares in Montreal and Canada in the late 19th century and the early 20th century.

Sequence 1 Commemoration

Dominion Square, located on the site of a cemetery, is a sacred place but also a place of commemoration. Its historical monuments and stronghold of Protestant churches serve as reminders of Canada’s close ties to the British Empire during this period.

Sequence 2 Prestige

Images from that era show the picturesque neighbourhood around Dominion Square: houses in the English style, the Windsor Hotel and Windsor Station. They depict Victorian architecture but also evoke memorable celebrations of high society.

Sequence 3 Exuberance

Just before the economic crisis of the late 1920s, Montreal’s economy is booming. On the edge of the Square, two avant-garde buildings are in a race against time: the Dominion Square Building and the Sun Life Insurance Building.

Sequence 4 Ambition

The very name of this public place shows the close relationship between the district’s development and the country’s governing class and its central role in the world of finance. Builders leave their dynamic imprint on the west side of the city.

Sequence 5 A new downtown

A prestigious district created by visionary businessmen draws the city’s main financial and commercial activities to the west end. Today, office towers have replaced bell towers, English-style houses and Victorian architecture.

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